Confused about Art School - Please Help!

<p>Okay I am currently in the 10th grade, 3.4/.5 GPA (I have trouble with math and science but excel in writing and history as well as being a very dedicated and passionate art student) and I really want to go to art school but I have a few problems..</p>

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<li><p>There are limited opportunities in my current location. I live in northern IN where the economy is in the complete pits and where there are very little to no art opportunities. My question is; Is it worth paying the extra money to go out of state where there are more Job opportunities or should I take my chances to save money by staying in state? Also the only art schools in Indiana I've seen are the Art Institutes which complete drain your wallet and aren't as great as they seem or so I've heard, and Herron Art School which is part of IUPUI I believe but I don't really like the vibe, it seems snobby if that makes any sense.</p></li>
<li><p>If I did go out of state I would definitely go farther west, possibly the Bay Area where I have some family but I've heard the Art Academy isn't very good - is this true? I heard rumors from other forums discussing a possible real estate issue and the fact that a portfolio isn't required and that it's open admission kind if bothers me. Regardless it's probably one of my only affordable options at least that I've explored. </p></li>
<li><p>If the Art Academy is obsolete what are some other affordable options in CA? I would also consider something in the Chicago area, I love the city but I can't find anything affordable. I would also consider myself pretty liberal and I know college towns tend to be more liberal and I hate to stereotype but I don't think I could go to school in a conservative setting.</p></li>
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<p>Another thing - I know this probably makes my first post seem poorly premeditated, but is art school a good choice? I want to be happy AND successful.</p>

<p>Art schools are very expensive and have little aid. How much will your parents pay each year? If they won't pay the cost, how will you afford to go?</p>

<p>Odd thing is that I teach at the Academy of Art University (AAU) in San Francisco. Let me address both of the issues you brought up. The Academy has real estate all over San Francisco and has converted all sorts of buildings to classrooms, administrative offices, studios, dorms and everything else you can think of that a school will need. Facilities are fabulous, but spread out all over the city. It has it's own bus fleet that shuttles students to its various cites. The president of the school is the granddaughter of the school's founder and her family owns the buildings and then leases them back to the school. Some locals are disgruntled by what they call the family's real estate empire, but it's really just very astute business if you ask me. </p>

<p>The philosophy of the school is that everyone should be given the opportunity to succeed, artistic types aren't always following traditional academic paths, so it is open enrollment and no portfolio is required. That doesn't mean that it's easy by any means. You have to take rigorous foundation classes before going on to your major department. That also means that there is a higher than normal drop out rate in the first couple of years because some people just aren't prepared for the hard (but fun) work. The liberal arts classes aren't terrible, but the focus is truly the art. If you want an art education where you learn business practices as well as salable skills, the Academy is a great place to go. Your instructors are professional artists and the networking possibilities are huge.</p>

<p>San Francisco is a GREAT city with a very liberal population. I understand what you're grappling with in trying to follow an artistic path since I was in the same position years ago. I decided to follow my dreams. First I went to a state university and found that the artwork encouraged there was very conceptual and abstract with very limited prospects for making a living doing it after graduation. No business classes whatsoever were taught. After graduating with what I consider a worthless degree, I discovered the Academy and started over. The Academy gave me great skills that I have used as an illustrator, gallery painter and Academy instructor. I have friends that work for Pixar and Dreamworks, as well as game companies and illustration collectives like Massive Black. </p>

<p>I've had a really interesting life and do what I enjoy. I can't say that's it's always been easy, but it's never been dull. Good luck!</p>

<p>@mom2college:
Well I'm only a sophomore in high school right now so we are still working that all out yet. I will do whatever it takes, though.</p>

<p>@bopambo: Thank you that makes me feel so much better because I was already planning on taking the pre-college classes at AAU And I was getting worried. It's also nice to hear from a reliable source haha I do have a representative from AAU right now but it seemed like a stupid question.</p>

<p>Actually, Indiana University has a top art division, according to US News and World. Stay in state for your undergrad and then go to an art school for your MFA.</p>

<p>What type of art are you most interested in? Painting, sculpture, other? Realistic, abstract?</p>